Arrival: "If You Could See Your Whole Life From Start To Finish, Would You Change Things"

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer:    Eric Heisserer
Starring: Amy Adams
                Jeremy Renner
                Forest Whitaker
                Michael Stuhlbarg
                Tzi Ma
                Mark O'Brien
Rating:    ***

Release Date: Out Now

I can't sit here and say I am a huge fan of Sci-Fi films, because I am not, and therefore my views on them are often biased. Having said that, the recent Star Wars films have impressed, and I'm not completely ignorant to giving them a chance. Now having said that, Arrival is not a film that inspired or enthralled me. Boasting a superb cast, and visually an real delight, but the story and themes left me feeling a bit beige.

Amy Adams
When strange aircrafts descend onto earth, there is a worldwide panic and terror, as people don't know if they come in peace. Therefore, to solve the mystery, the military bring in Amy Adams' professional linguist, Louise Banks, and Jeremy Renner's theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly. Their job is to establish what the alien life forms want, and to keep the world pressure.

Amy Adams' performance from beginning to start is stellar, fully earning the many accolades she has been nominated for in this role. With an emotional undercurrent for her character being injected throughout, Adams stays vulnerable but professional; caring for the world but also these extra-terrestrial beings. Adams is gripping from beginning to end, and not one moment that she is on screen feels laboured or strained.

Jeremy Renner
The same can't be said for Renner, who gets lost in the background, and never really finds a way to push himself out there. While he isn't terrible, he is also not an enigmatic presence on screen. The same also goes for Forest Whitaker, but I feel this is down to him not having much to get himself stuck into within the story.

Director Denis Villeneuve has put together something that, visually, is pleasing and at times breathtaking; however the script, by Eric Heisserer, does very little to lift from my Sci-Fi scepticism. I can appreciate why it has been critically acclaimed in certain respects; but in my eyes and my opinion, it fells flat many times, and on really Adams' acting and the sometimes intriguing visuals stopped me from completely disengaging.

Arrival - Trailer